Green Room

Where were you in …. ’78?

posted at 11:22 am on November 12, 2012 by

Where was I in the summer of 1978?  I spent the summer with cousins in Lake Havasu, Arizona, as I had done for the previous few years.  It was the best summer of my youth, and unfortunately the last one I’d spend in Arizona. In 1979, I had a job and a girlfriend and was about to start my senior year in high school, and all of us moved on to other adventures.

Last week, I spent a little bit of time with my family, and we decided to celebrate New Year’s Day in Minnesota at our house by reconvening the Summer of ’78.  (The irony of celebrating a summer in the hottest place in the US by assembling in the winter in one of the coldest was not lost on us, either.)  We’ll be piled high with family, nostalgia, embarrassing stories of summers spent together as kids and teens, and hopefully more mirth than we can imagine at the moment … not to mention gaps in hot water.

So, it’s now my task to gather the movies and music of that summer to celebrate it at the end of the year.  Grease and Animal House are obvious selections for films (and The Swarm an obvious choice to avoid), while Steve Miller Band’s Book of Dreams comes to mind for music.  What do you recommend for a celebration of the Summer of ’78?  I’ll watch the comments closely for any and all suggestions ….

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I went to a Barry Manilow concert at the Greek Theater. I’m sure most people here will cringe at that, but it was an enjoyable concert.

Rose on November 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

and The Swarm an obvious choice to avoid

Heresy! A better movie about killer bees you won’t find! I hadn’t even hit puberty in ’78 so my only suggestion would be to ride a Huffy bike and take a trip to Toys ‘R Us.

clearbluesky on November 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Oh, and play one of these if you can find one.

clearbluesky on November 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Foosball, Frisbee and Fleetwood Mac.

Speechlesstx on November 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Graduated high school May of 1978; Star Wars was HUGE in my theater, radio and A/V circle (yes, I was ultra-nerdy back then).

My senior class nominated Skynyrd’s “Freebird” as our class song, and I never forgave them for that.

I worked at Sears in the Catalog department (in the olden days you could go to the store and walk up to a counter and order out of the catalog; I manned the register).

chelie on November 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

attack of the killer tomatoes!

cmsinaz on November 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

1978? I was 14, and my 18 yr old college BF snuck me into Great SouthEast Music Hall to see the first, and only US tour date of the Sex Pistols. It was a whole lot for a rural girl from Bama, & one of the most memorable things Ive ever seen in my life. Oh, and me and the girls at school spent a lot of time fawning over Travolta’s hair, Frampton’s too, but mostly his shirtless chest, & wishing our hair was shiny like Olivia Newton John’s. We were obsessed with hair, then.Had to have the big plastic hair comb, or pick, and use Body On Tap Shampoo, sold on the advertising that beer shampoo was THE thing. Was there even a barley or hop in that mess? Spray on some Enjoli, ladies, bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, & never, never let you forget you’re a man! Fantasy Island, Love Boat, CHIPS, Sanford & Son.

di butler on November 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I was fresh out of high school, and was working as a sacker/stocker at a grocery store in Dallas. I also went to the famous Texxas Jam 2 country/rock concert at the Cotton Bowl (Billy Thorpe/Bob Welch/Little River Band/Steve Miller/Fleetwood Mac):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texxas_Jam

And yes, I still have the t-shirt.

Ward Cleaver on November 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Heresy! A better movie about killer bees you won’t find!

clearbluesky on November 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Heh. Except for Deadly Bees. And Savage Bees. And Invasion of the Bee Girls….

BTW….

apostic on November 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I was working 60-70 hours a week as a Purchasing/Warehouse Manager for a limestone quarry on the west end of Miami.

I was also watching Carter crash the economy.

Did I mention my commute time was 3+ hours a day?

oldleprechaun on November 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The summer of ’78, my 16 year-old brother and I accidentally made a pipe bomb out of a small canon and lots and lots of firecracker explosive. His ballistic philosophy was that if a little was good, more was even better. And a ton would be awesome. It blew up in our faces on our front porch. Literally. He escaped injury but I was taken to the hospital and fortunately, the surgeon saved my good looks. But my brother was left explaining to my father why the front door and aluminum overhang had holes in them. I don’t know what hell my brother caught, but at the age of 10, I had learned that less is more.

Hear that Obama?

keep the change on November 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Summer of 1978? I was knee deep in yet another hell hole of a swamp teaching combat survival skills to non english speaking soldiers. Opps! That was after Iran-Contra. Sorry I was a “civilian” at the time we never did those things did we?

jpcpt03 on November 12, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Summer of ’78? Somebody better dress as Bucky ‘F’in’ Dent!

Good Solid B-Plus on November 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Much of my Spring, all of my Summer and part of my Fall of ’78 was spent in AF basic training and then tech school. And yeah, it was one of the best summers of my life, oddly enough.

Music I remember from those days: Boston was still hot then, and I saw them in New Haven, CT right after I got back from tech school; I seem to recall playing Warren Zevon’s Excitable Boy album until it wore out; and for some reason, Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” always reminds me of basic training at Lackland AFB, TX, as does Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues”.

flipflop on November 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Two words (and a number):

1974 Ford Pinto

UltimateBob on November 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Spent half of the Summer of ’78 in Hawaii after graduating Cerritos High School, Ed. However, I was in Havasu City visiting my Aunt & Uncle and cousins for a week too. Jumped off the London Bridge into the canal a hundred times. LoL

The things I could recommend from our youth (growing up in the same ‘hood and all) would probably be verboten at the Morrissey household in this day and age.

Most likely you’re well aware already since you were from the same place and time.

Otherwise — rent out some Six Million Dollar man and Bionic Woman dvd’s, Get Smart, Hogans Heroes, My Favorite Martian, Brady Bunch, etc. The Terminator and Star Wars Episode IV of course. Dirty Harry movies — Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, and The Enforcer.

Candy — Pop Rocks and Chick-O-Sticks. Abba-Zabas and Big Hunks. Bazooka Bubble Gum and Tootsie Rolls. You know what was popular then.

Angels Flight polyester bell bottom pants, long sleeve silk shirt with popped collar, and platform shoes — if you want to get dressy. Otherwise — faded tore up jeans with lots of flower power and peace sign patches, etc, and big stripe shirts. Or — surfer clothes would do.

I don’t know what music you were into, Ed, but if you have Sirius/XM satellite radio just tune to 70′s on 7 (Channel 7). They’ll cover it all. Disco and rock. All day and all night every day and every night.

I just finished perusing the Carmenita Junior High and Cerritos High yearbooks, Ed. You had a lot of hair back then. But then again — so did I. We all did.

LoL

Have fun!

FlatFoot on November 12, 2012 at 1:40 PM

No suggestions except stay the hell away from DISCO.

RC2 on November 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I was 19. In the Army in Hawaii. I was a PFC, had just started flying as a CH47 CE and getting flight pay. Had more money than I’d seen in my entire other side of the tracks existence and was living large above Barbers Pt. NAS in Makailo.

hawkdriver on November 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Makakilo!

hawkdriver on November 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I spent the summer of ’78 working as a waitress at the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Barstow, CA. It was the summer prior to my senior year in college and I bought my first car at the end of the summer- a 1969 Toyota Corona with a huge CB antennae but no CB (I think I paid $250 for it). I have lots of memories trying to keep that car running. I can’t remember what movies I saw or music I was listening to, though.

con_in_socal on November 12, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Led Zeppelin.
And that song will always, and evermore, remain the same.

(Memories, Thank You for that Ed.)

FlaMurph on November 12, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I was 14 most of the year — turned 15 in December. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year. You heard “Baker Street” on the radio all summer long; well, you did in Appleton, Wisconsin. It was the year the Milwaukee Brewers had their first winning season, although they couldn’t catch the Red Sox or Yankees. My hometown minor league team, the Appleton Foxes, won their league with a team that included future big leaguers LaMarr Hoyt and Ron Kittle, among others. We played a lot of wiffle ball, too. The next year we started getting cars and jobs, so it was the last summer of innocence, in some respects.

Mr. D on November 12, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Superman

ITguy on November 12, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Movies Alien, Big Wednesday, FM, Halloween, Superman, Music Blondie, The Cars first album, Ted Nugent & anyone who played at Cal Jam II (what a show), TV Battlestar Galactica, Mork & Mindy, seeing military trucks & tanks painted in desert colors for the first time, $0.77/gallon gas & planning for your first car, roller skating still a viable evening out at 17, 501 jeans, Angel’s Flight clothes… oh gawd yes, Ocean Pacific shirts, band collar shirts, skateboarding.

roy_batty on November 12, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I went to a Barry Manilow concert at the Greek Theater. I’m sure most people here will cringe at that, but it was an enjoyable concert.

Rose on November 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I’m a little jealous. I’ve was a fan before I was even tall enough to reach the record player because he was one of my mom’s favorites. My boyfriend bought tickets for my 38th birthday and I *finally* got to see him live in 2008. Luckily we weren’t quite close enough to the stage to be distracted by his weird new face.
For 2 hours I was a starstruck teenage girl again. They handed out customized “Barry Manilow” glow sticks. It was so awesome.

1978 = Close Encounters of the Third Kind, CHiPs (Ponch was cuter), my favorite Rolling Stones song “Miss You”

Unfortunately my most vivid memory from that year is nothing to celebrate – The Blizzard of ’78. Sledding off the roof, the neighbors strapping their Malmutes to a dogsled to get milk and supplies for everyone on our street, my father & uncle breaking into the local pharmacy to get medication for people who needed it. Good times, good times.

racecar05 on November 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I also went to the famous Texxas Jam 2 country/rock concert at the Cotton Bowl (Billy Thorpe/Bob Welch/Little River Band/Steve Miller/Fleetwood Mac):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texxas_Jam

And yes, I still have the t-shirt.

Ward Cleaver on November 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I was there! I think if I dig I can find the program too. I recall Stevie Nicks getting booed and Steve Miller had his hair so short when he first came out on stage he did not get any applause. I also remember that it was diabolically HOT!

roy_batty on November 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I was 14 years away from gracing this world with my presence.

vegconservative on November 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Toto
Good band

cmsinaz on November 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM

racecar05 on November 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I’m glad I’m not the only one. I still enjoy listening to his music occasionally.

Rose on November 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Genesis – Duke

pabo on November 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Listening to Elvis Costello, dressing up for Rocky Horror re-runs, sneaking into the Disco (yes, I loved it then and love it still, going to sock-hops (50′s nostalgia was really big). Watching the Midnight Special, Soul Train, and SNL when it was still funny.

Mitsouko on November 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM

NOOOO, sorry Duke came out in ’80.

pabo on November 12, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I got my driver’s license in the summer of ’78, spent 10 days in Massachusetts and 2 weeks in California with relatives. It was a fabulous summer . . .

I forgot all the films that came out that year. Besides Grease, there were Animal House; Halloween; Superman; Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke; Heaven Can Wait; California Suite; Same Time, Next Year; Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the Nimoy one); The Boys from Brazil; and two cheesy but fun ones, Coma and Capricorn One (fake moon landing).

Van Halen’s and The Cars first albums came out – classics! Along with The Police breaking on the scene with Outlando’s D’Amour (Roxanne).

Good times . . .

Greyledge Gal on November 12, 2012 at 2:42 PM

That was the year my brother came home from Europe with a record by Alan Parson Project – Pyramid.

Styx was big that summer, and REO Speedwagon.

pabo on November 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

the electric simon game.

The sound of failure entered the lexicon.

beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.Eeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr.

portlandon on November 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Simon! My sorority sisters and I used to play that game to cope with the stress of final exams at the end of the term. :)

In the Summer of ’78, I had completed my sophomore year at college. I had a part-time job at a local hat factory, and it was pretty much the only one I could find in my small town. It was my first experience with … I don’t know … class envy, maybe. Apparently, I was only one of two college students to ever apply at the place. I needed a job and one was there. The problem was not with my co-workers at all — they were a fun bunch, and I had a blast playing on their softball team in the evenings after our shift was over.

The snottiness came mostly from the supervisor, who seemed to think that just because I was in college, I was not going to work as hard as everyone else who was there. To make a long story short, I made it a point to work my butt off at the place, so hard, in fact, that I ended up gaining several pounds on my 98-pound-soaking-wet frame so that none of my clothes fit when the time came to go back to school.

And I got a grudging compliment from the supervisor when I turned in my two-week notice before I left for school. She looked at me and said, “You’re OK for a college kid.”

PatriotGal2257 on November 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

BTW….

apostic on November 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Heh, cool.

clearbluesky on November 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM

8th Grade Summer Vacation in 1978…

… Home town of Encinitas, CA, we could still ride horses to the beach. THAT was a great Summer!

Seven Percent Solution on November 12, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I graduated High School in June ’78 and started into the “real world”; grossly ill-prepared.

listens2glenn on November 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Me too! I also got married that summer, co-signed for my future ex-husband’s Harley Sportster and moved from PA to Texas.

Ed, the Steelers pretty much dominated that decade, can’t leave that out!

Night Owl on November 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

1978. first time i saw the ramones. helped setup the equipment. that fall road to ruin came out. saw ‘sedated’ live before the record. i would play a lot of road to ruin, but thrown in the first 2 albums also (violating the 78 rule). do not proceed beyind 1978 with the ramones tho. self-parody. and phil spector. you know the rest.

t8stlikchkn on November 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Listening to Elvis Costello, dressing up for Rocky Horror re-runs, sneaking into the Disco (yes, I loved it then and love it still, going to sock-hops (50′s nostalgia was really big). Watching the Midnight Special, Soul Train, and SNL when it was still funny.

Mitsouko on November 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM

oh yesss. this years model and perhaps taking liberties. or was 78 armed forces? i dressed up as eddie. had a sax, looked like him. 22 times. you?

t8stlikchkn on November 12, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Oh my word – all the good music in this thread! I graduated from high school in 1978 and since one of the many tax initiatives in California had passed, the junior college I was also attending the last semester of high school shut down the college radio station and sold off all the equipment it had for the entire mass communications department – thus derailing my plan to get my associates degree and become famous in radio. I moved to Idaho to start over and never did get that darn degree. But at least I don’t live in California now, so I can be thankful for that small favor!

Ssharon on November 12, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I was with a couple of others here on the forum doing the “not born yet” thing…

Gingotts on November 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Styx was big that summer, and REO Speedwagon.

pabo on November 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

REO – chick band. had to have them and a journey cassette in the car, just in case. ya know, you were in a jam.

t8stlikchkn on November 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM

And I got a grudging compliment from the supervisor when I turned in my two-week notice before I left for school. She looked at me and said, “You’re OK for a college kid.”

PatriotGal2257 on November 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

very similar experience. working as a janitor at a horse race track. cleaning up after something way more dirtier than horses: people (cleaned grandstand). everybody else on the crew but me and my buddy were hispanic. supervisor was a black dude who worked them like dogs. but he just ignored us and figured we wouldnt work i guess. and we finished first every night. best money i ever made. 6 days a week, during school. and learned how to handicap from the oldtimers.

t8stlikchkn on November 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I was 14 years away from gracing this world with my presence.

vegconservative on November 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM

those of us that were around then, are very glad for your arrival. theres a boatload of medicare and social security we’re going to be needing from you all….

t8stlikchkn on November 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

t8stlikchkn on November 12, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Heh. Good money and learning how to handicap at the race track. I just got money for school. :)

PatriotGal2257 on November 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Ed, the Steelers pretty much dominated that decade, can’t leave that out!

Night Owl on November 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM

One of my dorm neighbors during those years of 70s Steeler Super Bowl wins had an obstinate attachment to the Oakland Raiders. She was from New Jersey. I guess a person can be a fan of any football team they wish, but I was a bit puzzled by that. :)

PatriotGal2257 on November 12, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I was 7 most the year(turned 8 in October)and my parents were under the mistaken impression that I wanted a younger sibling. Despite my protests, he arrived in July. my mother underwent some minor outpatient surgery that went horribly wrong. Almost losing his wife caused my dads already fragile emotional state to totally snap. he would pretty much stay ‘snapped’ until his death, 11 years ago today. The house we rented was infested by roaches. They’d crawl on me while I was in bed. There was one good thing that happened in ’78. My school music teacher decided that I could sing-and have me the only solo in the school-wide Christmas program. 5 1/2 years later I would be accepted into the Chicago Academy for the Arts…as a voice major.
RIP Mr. Fred Young.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Minnesota, 1978 – the “Minnesota Massacre”, Republicans (“Independent Republican” party then) defeat the DFL (Dem) candidates for Governor and both Senate seats. Of course, that was in the fall, not the summer of ’78.

whatcat on November 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I graduated in ’77 and married a month later. One of my favorite singers then was Rod Stewart. I have memories of dancing in my apartment to Hot Legs. Yup, I was very young and silly then. I had long hair parted down the middle and so did my husband! I drove a ’68 Firebird that about asphyxiated me if I had the windows down. Those were the days!

TeaTrekkie on November 13, 2012 at 12:16 AM

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